Is Dubai acting smart?
Rera’s CEO has just denied media reports of property project cancellations, adding that Dubai’s success, like a movie star’s, is prompting critics to spread false rumors.
February 12, 2009 12:29 by Aarti Nagraj
“Dubai is like a movie star, and just like a movie star everyone is looking at us, adding more pressure.”
That’s what Marwan Bin Ghalita, the CEO of Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) told Emirates Business, explaining that the city’s success is leading to incorrect media rumors about cancellations of property projects in the city.
A recent report by HSBC said that $75 billion worth of projects are being cancelled in the UAE, but a Morgan Stanley report put the number at $263 billion.
Rera’s CEO, however, says the authority is still “studying the market at present.” He rubbished a list that is doing the rounds, telling Al Bayan that “The list was not accurate and not true simply because it was not issued by Rera, Department of Lands or any official relevant body. Those behind the list are only seeking to raise fears and panic so as to make narrow gains.”
“We understand the feelings of worry resulted from the impact of the global financial crisis but we are against the unjustifiable panic, exaggeration and hitting under the belt by some for the sake of making illegitimate ends,” he added.
While the list is possibly inaccurate (Kipp did try to ascertain some projects earlier, but was unable to confirm the status of several projects), it has been more than three months since the effect of the economic slowdown began to be felt in Dubai’s real estate sector. Hundreds of people have been laid off from their jobs in the property sector, with developers blaming it on postponement or cancellation of projects; and financial houses like HSBC and Morgan Stanley have already come out with their lists.
Rera will be releasing “accurate data next week that would show the true picture of Dubai’s real estate market.”
“We didn’t announce any cancellation of projects especially those sold to investors, and this is a stabilizing factor which can contribute to further boosting confidence in the vibrant real estate market in Dubai,” Ghalita told Al Bayan. “We want to send a clear message that we have confidence in the city,” he told Emirates Business.
Well, Kipp isn’t sure how confident investors are of the movie star’s talents.